By Larry David
Sunday, 1st October 2017
Larry David is in the shower, singing ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’ from Mary Poppins. Has he changed? No. His supercalifragilistic mood lasts all of half a minute; until, that is, he tries to get some shower gel out of a container with one of those pump-action nozzles. At this point the more familiar sound of a Micalizzi refrain begins, Larry shouts ‘Fuck!’, and the scene comes to resemble the one in Season Seven when he couldn’t get into the vacuum-packed plastic packaging. LD is back!
In the first few scenes some of the things that happen to Larry seem like they could be there simply to set up jokes; but we know from experience that most will turn out to be strands of a tightly plaited plot: on the way in to see his agent, Jeff (Jeff Garlin), he doesn’t hold the door open for a mannish-looking woman (‘I was just trying not to offend you and yet I wound up offending you, which is quite ironic’); he presents Jeff with the final script of his new Broadway show (Fatwa! The Musical), about which Jeff’s wife Susie (Susie Essman) is very negative; and his personal assistant has missed two days of work due to constipation, so he wants to fire her. The semi-improvised performances are a little stilted, but it has been six years since Season Eight.
‘Type + distance = no door-hold’
The plait tightens. The mannish-looking woman (Julie Goldman), who it transpires is Jeff’s hairdresser, is getting married to the feminine-looking Numa (Nasim Pedrad), but insisting on being the ‘bride’ – Larry sticks his oar in (‘You’re a groom’), eliciting from Numa a neat summary of the governing Identitätsphilosophie: ‘How is it appropriate for you to have an opinion about this?’ Jeff tells Larry that he must go on Jimmy Kimmel to promote Fatwa! And Larry decides to foist his useless assistant on to Susie.
This was all trundling along well enough, but I was wondering whether my tastes had moved on or whether a new season after all this time could ever be quite as good. Oh me of little faith. I’d forgotten just how satisfying the Curb plait-plot is when it interweaves into sight. I won’t try to do it all justice – and most people will see it coming before I did – but, in brief, Larry goes on Kimmel, mocks the ayatollah…
Now there’s only one ayatollah, and they all seem to have the same name. And they all seem to spell it the same way. And you never know, if you look at the history of ayatollahs… it all seems like one person. They all look exactly the same, and their names are Khomeini, Khomeeni, Khomani…
…and then, the following day, he sees the ayatollah on the TV news, issuing a fatwa against him.
Very bad man!